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Defending life from the moment of conception

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News, 21 August 2003

21 August 2003

21 August 2003 The professor whose team at King's College London created the UK's first stem cell line from IVF embryos, has defended the work as "wholly ethical" on the grounds that the embryos would otherwise have been discarded. Professor Peter Braude stated: "The UK stem cell bank is an idea worth supporting as it will allow maximum research by use of as few embryos as possible." The stem cell lines, created by Dr Stephen Minger and Dr Susan Pickering, are to be stored at Cancer Research UK's laboratory in South Mimms. [This is Hertfordshire, 20 August ] An interview with one of the survivors of Dr Mengele's experiments is to be broadcast on BBC radio this evening. Zoe Polanska Palmer spent two years in Auschwitz being force-fed tablets and pills by SS doctors as part of what are believed to have been early birth control tests. The treatment left her physically and psychologically damaged and unable to have children. Now in her seventies, Mrs Polanska Palmer has been fighting for compensation and an apology from the German pharmaceutical company Bayer. [BBC, 20 August ] Bishop-elect and SPUC president, Professor Anthony Fisher OP, debated against euthanasia advocate Dr Philip Nitschke before a packed hall at the University of Sydney last week. [The Catholic Weekly, 24 August ] The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer has criticised members of Congress for producing a misleading report that denies the existence of a link between abortion and breast cancer. In March 2002, the National Cancer Institute website publicised allegations of report bias in studies showing a link, which was removed under the direction of the Health and Human Services Secretary. Karen Malec of the Coalition stated: "They're running scared because science isn't on their side. Scientists can't disprove the biological explanation for an ABC link, and five medical organisations recognise a causal relationship." [, 19 August ] A new study entitled UNICEF: Women or Children First? has exposed the gradual change in UNICEF's focus from child survival to abortion promotion. UNICEF has taken part in the formulation of UN documents with other UN agencies that promote abortion and financially supports the South African NGO LoveLife which provides abortion information to a largely underage audience. In 1996, the Vatican withdrew its annual contribution to the agency when officials came to believe that UNICEF supported abortion. C-FAM is calling for a campaign to bring UNICEF back to its central mission of child survival. [CWNews/Culture and Life Foundation, 19 August ] The September issue of Glamour magazine has published an article detailing a new approach to abortion marketing being adopted by some US abortionists. The new method involves using the language more commonly found in counselling for post abortion syndrome and rituals including a kind of baptism of the aborted baby. Before the abortion, women are encouraged to express guilt, to write notes to their children about their feelings of empowerment, to grieve and express love for the child. A spokesman for Campaign Life Catholic, condemned the strategy. "This is the most diabolical twist to the abortion industry so far. To use and deform the conscience, even invoking God's forgiveness for unrepented acts of murder, in order to sell their murderous service is a horrific violation of the women who go to them in trust." [CWNews, 20 August ]

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